Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Building an e-shop: Hosted solutions (part 3)

A list of proven and trusted hosted e-commerce solutions

online_shoppingIf you’ve decided to use a hosted solution for your e-shop, then Bigcommerce or Shopify  are definitely the most popular platforms to pick from. But let’s have a look at some other hosted solutions that are worth keeping in mind. Consider them when choosing your platform and give them a try – the best way to find the solution that best fits your web development and design skills, and your needs and specific business, is by experiencing as many platforms as possible.



PinnacleCart is a popular hosted e-shopping solution and it has a lot of cool features. One of its great benefits is that it offers Facebook e-commerce and mobile commerce storefronts – not every hosted solution can give you this. It’s easy to use, set up and customize. PinnacleCart is PCI compliant and can be fully integrated with all major e-commerce automation tools. There are no transaction fees, which can save you a lot of money. PinnacleCart has four pricing plans, according to your needs, and of course a 14-day free trial. So give it a try and get 3 stores, not just one – your website, your mobile store and your Facebook storefront.


Yahoo! Merchant Solution

Choosing a hosted e-shop solution provided by an internet giant like Yahoo is definitely a good choice. You’ll get a lot of traffic on your site from organic search and ad clicks, which can be only rivalled by Google. And fearing that you’ll lose your online store because the hosted solution provider might go bankrupt is not really an important issue here, right? With Yahoo! Merchant Solution you get a great on-site-search tool which really helps your users to find what they’re looking for. The platform is easy to use and provides practically everything that an online store owner needs. Well, there are some disadvantages if you choose this platform. There’s a 1.5% transaction fee. The Merchant Solution uses Yahoo! Design tools, which means you need to hire a designer to make your store look unique and third-party software for designing must be paid separately.



Volusion is another great and easy-to-use online store solution. It offers basically everything that you need, including support 24/7. You can include product comparison pages in your shop. A great feature is the one-page checkout, which can reduce your abandoned carts and lost sales. Expanding the sales to use eBay is easy, the solution has a mobile-optimized version and also a Social store for Facebook so that you list your products directly onto your Facebook page. No transaction fees are charged, but you do have to purchase your SSL certificate.



Ultracart is a powerful platform for your online business. What is interesting is that every pricing plan includes the same features – the price grows higher with the growth of your business. You don’t have to pay transaction fees. Well, in fact Ultracart doesn’t differ a lot from the previously listed solutions. It offers all the necessary features for an e-shop. So it’s up to you whether you choose this solution or another. You can get the 30-day free trial period and see for yourself.



3dcart is another great hosted e-commerce platform. Basically it has all the features that the previously mentioned solutions have. So it’s a matter of personal feeling if you go with 3dcart.


There are a lot more hosted solutions out there – we’ve only gone through the most commonly used ones. If that’s not enough for you and you want to extend your research to find a better solution you can try these:

  • AmeriCommerce
  • Big Cartel – simple shopping cart for artists
  • GoEmerchant
  • Ecwid – a little bit different; it allows you to add an e-shop to your existing webpage. It has a free plan (for up to 10 products)
  • Magento Go – the hosted version of the popular Magento platform; it has limited functionality, but it can be extended with third-party apps


This list is not complete and there are a lot of other hosted e-commerce solutions out there. But these are the most popular, trusted and suitable for small businesses and start-ups with shoe-string budgets and limited technical, design and web development expertise. Do you have any experience with other shopping cart solutions which can be added to the list? Feel free to share, and let’s discuss the different options.


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About Lili Petkova

Enthusiastic young online marketing professional. Fully engaged in the way how people communicate and react on different situations – both online, and offline. Living in Bulgaria - a country of contrast, where life is somewhere in the middle of Western countries and Asia. Love to travel, meet new cultures and friends. Blogging about how online tools, social networks and internet advertising can help small businesses to benefit from their online marketing.